Demands can also initiate escalation. Adults don’t like to be told what to do, how to do it, the right way to do it, or why they do it. When a person initiates a demand, the recipient can respond with: a demand, an attack, defensiveness, or withdrawal. If a person withdraws, this is the demand-withdraw pattern.
The challenge for couples is to learn not to escalate. If escalation can be averted and a healthy discussion ensues, couples will be able to solve or resolve the majority of their differences.